How Do I Rip a DVD Onto My Laptop?

By Alexis Lawrence

The video that is stored on a DVD disc is digital, which makes it ideal for use on your computer or laptop. Computer media players and video-editing applications work exclusively with digital video. If you would like to be able to view the video from a DVD in your collection any time that you want to on your laptop, without needing the disc, or edit the video in a computer video-editing program, you can rip the DVD and store it to your laptop’s hard drive.

Things You'll Need

  • Laptop with DVD drive or Laptop with external DVD drive
  • DVD

Step 1

Download a DVD-ripping program. Ripping programs that can be downloaded for free include DVD Shrink, DVD Decrypter and Handbrake (see Resources).

Step 2

Install the DVD-ripping program onto your laptop. To download, go to the folder where the downloaded program is located and double-click the icon. Follow the on-screen installation guide.

Step 3

Insert a blank DVD-R disc into the laptop’s DVD drive. If your laptop does not have a DVD drive installed, you must connect an external DVD drive to the laptop. To connect the external drive to the laptop, plug the cable provided with the drive into an open USB port on the laptop.

Step 4

Choose the ripping mode that you prefer by clicking on the “Mode” menu or “Output Format” option. ISO mode rips a copy of the entire disc in one file and requires the use of a DVD player program for viewing on the laptop. IFO or another standard video ripping mode, such as AVI or MPEG, creates individual video files that are compatible with many computer video programs.

Step 5

Select a folder on your laptop’s hard drive where you would like for the DVD video files to save. To select a folder, click the folder icon by the “Destination” or “Output Folder” box, navigate to the folder in the window and click “OK.”

Step 6

Press the “Rip” or “Convert” button in the program window. The progress of the DVD-ripping is displayed in the DVD-ripping program window. Once ripping is complete, a copy of the DVD disc or copies of the video files on the disc are stored to the folder you indicated on the computer’s laptop.